• synonyms


  1. producing offspring, young, fruit, etc., abundantly; highly fruitful: a prolific pear tree.
  2. producing in large quantities or with great frequency; highly productive: a prolific writer.
  3. profusely productive or fruitful (often followed by in or of): a bequest prolific of litigations.
  4. characterized by abundant production: a prolific year for tomatoes.
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Origin of prolific

First recorded in 1640–50, prolific is from the Medieval Latin word prōlificus fertile. See prolicide, -fic
Related formspro·lif·i·ca·cy [pruh-lif-i-kuh-see] /prəˈlɪf ɪ kə si/, pro·li·fic·i·ty [proh-luh-fis-i-tee] /ˌproʊ ləˈfɪs ɪ ti/, pro·lif·ic·ness, nounpro·lif·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·pro·lif·ic, adjectivenon·pro·lif·ic·ness, nounnon·pro·lif·i·ca·cy, nounnon·pro·lif·i·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·pro·lif·ic, adjectiveo·ver·pro·lif·ic·ness, nouno·ver·pro·lif·i·cal·ly, adverbun·pro·lif·ic, adjectiveun·pro·lif·ic·ness, nounun·pro·lif·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for prolific

Antonyms for prolific

1. barren.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prolifically

Historical Examples of prolifically

  • Corn grows as prolifically in Africa as in the bottoms of Georgia and Alabama.

    Twentieth Century Negro Literature


  • Arrogance begets fear as surely and prolifically as certain of the rodents beget offspring.

  • Liberia would yield cotton as prolifically as Arkansas or Mississippi, if cultivated.

  • He has taken some part in politics, but he continues to write, though not so prolifically as before.

    The Short-story

    William Patterson Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for prolifically


  1. producing fruit, offspring, etc, in abundance
  2. producing constant or successful results
  3. (often foll by in or of) rich or fruitful
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Derived Formsprolifically, adverbprolificness or prolificacy, noun

Word Origin for prolific

C17: from Medieval Latin prōlificus, from Latin prōlēs offspring
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for prolifically



1640s, from French prolifique (16c.), from Medieval Latin prolificus, from Latin proles "offspring" + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Latin proles is contracted from *pro-oles, from PIE *pro-al-, from *pro- "forth" (see pro-) + *al- "to grow, nourish" (see old). Related: Prolifical (c.1600).

Prolific is in common use, but to make a satisfactory noun from it has passed the wit of man. [Fowler]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper